After the presents have been opened and everyone is back home, people start totaling up the cost of holiday cheer and wonder how they are going to pay the bill. If you don’t look at the debt as an insurmountable obligation and break down how you can pay it back, it will alleviate much of the stress that comes after the holidays. So take a deep breath, open up the statements and use these tips to get it paid off.
Total it Up
If you put your holiday on multiple credit cards, you need to gather your credit card statements and figure out how much you spent in total on each card. Knowing exactly how much you owe will help you get a plan together to pay it off.
Go Over Your Budget
Take a look at your monthly budget and see if you already have money left at the end of the month that you can throw toward your holiday debt. Simply take your expenses and subtract them from your total income. Anything left over should be used to pay off the balance on your credit cards. No money left over? That is okay. There are things you can do to create extra money to chip away at your holiday bill.
Cut Back Expenses
When you are trying to find money to put toward your debt, the easiest thing you can do is start cutting down on expenses. Cut back on the dinners out, clip coupons to reduce your food bill and find as many little ways to reduce the money going out of your bank account as you can. The couple of dollars here and there will quickly add up and greatly help reduce your holiday debt. Once you have cut back as much as possible, total up your savings and set it aside to pay for your debt.
Find Extra Cash
In addition to cutting back, you can pay off your debt even faster if you can bring in some extra money as well. You can donate plasma, sell unwanted items, babysit or even pick up a few extra hours at work. The more you are able to bring in, the less time you will have to spend trying to find the extra money to pay down debt. So try to buckle down and work hard now, to make life easier later.
However, if you are sick of having to pay of the debt that the holidays create year after year, why not start setting aside money to pay for next year. Keep some of these same cost cutting and money earning tactics in place and place it in a savings account that is not attached to your checking account. Put as much as you can into this account every month until you have enough to cover expenses for next year. Then when the holidays roll around again, you won’t have to touch a credit card and there will be nothing to pay off. Either way, using these tips will help relieve the post holiday financial stress that we all want to avoid.